Sunday was Mother’s Day. One of our members brought pink roses for everyone to honor our mothers. It was also Good Shepherd Sunday (John 10:1-10.) No one brought sheep but we talked about what it meant for us to listen to the call of the Good Shepherd.
Many people and activities call to us, vying for our attention. Whose call do you answer?
When I was growing up in south Texas, we used to play outside in the evenings. We played swing the statue or hide and seek, rode bikes, and skated up and down the sidewalks. But sooner or later, we’d hear a call come out, “Dinner time.” I’d always know when it was my mother’s voice and I knew I’d better get in quick because she was not a patient person.
This week was Mother’s Day, a day for honoring our mothers. It would be a good day to talk about Dr. Alan Lewis and his understanding of the Motherhood of God, how God embodies and exemplifies motherhood. It was also Good Shepherd Sunday. And, it occurs to me that a good mother is a lot like Jesus description of the Good Shepherd.
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is calling us out of the pen. Some pens are places of safety and rest; others are places of confinement. He opens the pen and goes before us, leading us into the world. He tells us to love God, love others, and serve this world.
There are other shepherds, other voices who do not care about us but have other agendas. They are the voices telling us to look out for only for ourselves, remember our hurts, take revenge, hoard everything, and fear each other. Those voices are not Jesus.
In contrast, Jesus’ voice calls us to love each other more than we love ourselves, forgive the slights and hurts that others give us. Jesus calls us to love and trust God more than our traditions and rituals, more than we love and trust ourselves. That can be hard, even for the church to do.
This is an age of much anxiety and fear. For that matter, I wonder if there has ever been an age that was not. We need to hear again that God is with us and working in us. Jesus calls us out of our comfort zones and into the world where we are to live fully, showing the love of God to others. Be as attuned to that voice calling you out into the world as much as you were to your mother’s voice calling you home.
Jesus is calling.